Friday, June 15, 2012
By Freeman staff
KINGSTON, N.Y. — A 25-year-old Kingston man was indicted Thursday on multiple counts of rape for allegedly having sexual intercourse with four J. Watson Bailey Middle School students, two of whom he engaged through Facebook and text messaging, according to the Ulster County District Attorney’s Office.
The Kingston school district said early Friday that the suspect, Brian Densmore, did not work at the school.
All four victims were under the age of 15, and the incidents took place between last summer and the end of April 2012, the District Attorney’s Office said in announcing the grand jury’s action.
The indictment charges Densmore, of 14 Hillcrest Ave., with four counts of rape in the second degree, a violent felony; and one count of rape in the third degree, one count of sexual abuse in the second degree, and four counts of endangering the welfare of a child, all misdemeanors.
District Attorney Holley Carnright announced the indictments in a press release emailed to local media about 4:45 p.m. Thursday. The release did not say whether Densmore was an employee of the Merilina Avenue school (which has students in grades six through eight) or where the alleged sex acts took place, and Carnright could not be reached for comment Thursday evening.
The Kingston school district released a statement at 5:30 a.m. Friday that said district officials want "to make it clear that the incidents did not involve any school personnel, did not occur on school district property and happened outside of school jurisdiction."
The release quoted Superintendent Paul Padalino as saying, “We are deeply saddened by this crime and offer our support to the victims and their families at this time.
“We will enhance the Internet education initiatives we currently have in place,” Padalino said. “Our district will continue to be vigilant over the risks associated with these technologies, and we encourage parents to do the same.”
The District Attorney’s Office release did not identify the genders of the alleged victims or say whether the sex was forced.
Under New York state law, a person over age 21 is guilty of third-degree rape when he or she has sexual intercourse with a person under 17, regardless of consent.
The law also states that a person over 18 is guilty of second-degree rape if he or she engages in sexual intercourse with a person less than 15 years old or a person who is incapable of consent by reason of being mentally disabled or mentally incapacitated.
The release said Densmore was arrested on April 25 after a joint investigation by the Kingston and town of Ulster police departments. An officer answering the phone at the Ulster County Jail Thursday evening said Densmore remained incarcerated in lieu of $100,000 bail.
Carnright said in the press release that Densmore initiated contact with two of his victims through Facebook and then by sending text messages to their cell phones.
“This defendant is a predator who targets early adolescents,” Carnright said. “His use of social media highlights the risks associated with such technology that every parent or guardian must be aware.”
Katherine R. Van Loan, who heads the Special Victims Bureau at the DA’s office, will be prosecuting the case, and Densmore will be represented by the Ulster County Public Defender’s Office, Carnright said.
Carnright said there probably are other victims of the suspect, and he urged anyone with additional information to contact town of Ulster Police Detective Michael Thomas at (845) 382-1111 or Kingston Police Detective Michael Benjamin at (845) 331-1671. Calls also can be made to the District Attorney’s Office at (845) 340-3280.